tv Assignment 7 ABC September 26, 2010 3:30pm-4:00pm PST
hi, welcome to assignment 7. today on our program local doctors are trying to cure children from an extremely rare skin disease, plus... we go behind the scenes at the california academy of sciences to find out why it takes eight people to give them a physical. and check to see what are the hottest selling video games this holiday season. state regulators are concerned about more pg&e customers forced to live without power could dramatically increase as the utility installs more smart meters. it makes it easy for the utility to disconnect their electricity.
michael finney has the results of a 7 on your side investigation. >> this is a tragedy no one wants to see repeated. investigators in fairfield blame this fire in april on an unattended candle used to light the home. four children died in the fire. >> it was customer who had been disconnected. they were unfortunately using apparently candles inappropriately. >> pg&e had used smart meter technology to cut off electricity to the family because the family wasn't keeping up with its bills. some say shutoffs will happen more frequently. now as more smart meters are installed. >> our concern is that with the advent of smart meters that have the capability of remotely shutting off customers without having to go physically visit the house that could significantly increase. >> for the first five months of 2009, pg&e used smart meters to cut off power to 4300 customers.
that increase of 52,000 for the same period this year. pg&e insists that smart meters have not changed the way it does business. >> the advent of the smart meter has not changed the process with working with customers. >> they point to a different set of numbers. >> through the end of may the number of shutoffs in 2010 is down 33%. >> it points to the total number of all disconnections, not just smart meter disconnections, but the increase in smart meter shutoffs practitioners to be disproportionly large. there are three times more electric meters installed but they have increased 12 fold in one year. >> we have asked for a moratorium until the investigation is complete until we determine what are the problems with the smart meters.
>> we have a large variety of programs that customers can reach out to us. they can arrange a payment or mere qualify for an assistance program. >> through the first five months of this year, 46% of customers that lost their power remotely were in the energy care program. gas meters does not have the remote shut-off capability. there may be new hope what some parents have called the most painful disease that nobody has ever heard of. the victims are children. here is carolyn johnson,. >> 13-year-old garret spaulding lives with pain. he has to be tough because his skin is so fragile. >> it's so painful for him, the
pain management. >> garret was born with a genetic skin condition commonly referred to as e.b. that can produce open wounds. they rewrap the multilayered bandages that several times a day. >> we do limb by limb and it takes a long time. it can take hours. >> the same rare condition might have prevented andrew perez from ever holding his pirate story. they brought him her for surgery base the skin on the fingers was beginning to fuse together. >> it was like this. they separate them. >> e.b. is so rare it affects only about 1 in 50,000 children and lucille packard has the only dedicated e.b. clinic in california. the children also suffer from other issues.
>> in addition to the wounds we try to look at other medical issues t be having. we're checking for anemia and looking at nutrition. we want to keep them active. >> still for decades the main mission the is to help children manage the pain because there is no treatment or cure for e.b., but that could soon change. >> we are extremely excited about the future. >> the doctor believes that his team could be ready for clinic trials using advanced skin grafting techniques. one involves genetically engineering. >> it takes a gene which the patients are missing, putting that gene into their cells, having the cells make the correct protein and grafting those cells back on the patient. >> in other words, replacing damaged skin with healthy tissue. they received another boost when they awarded a $11 million grant
that will allow his team to use a similar grafting approach us >> there cells. >> there is so much new opportunities that are coming through in this disease in the last three years then there have been in the previous hundred years. >> if either strategy is successful, it would offer thets have called the most painful disease. >> it would be the biggest miracle, true life miracle that are dealing with e.b.. dr. lane is currently recruiting e.b. patients for preliminary trial. the goal is to have a stem cell based therapy in the next four years. >> up next, out of this world artwork. bay area woman who paints planets and galaxies no one has ever seen. >> we're out performing with
everybody. >> he is truly a sight to see. a south bay actor who isn't ring ring. progresso. everyday i eat your soups, i save a lot of money. that's great. so, your rich and hearty soups have made me, rich and hearty. that's funny. i'm hearty because of your juicy steak, your potatoes... you're really, rich and happy. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. so, you can eat them right here... or eat green giant beans at home... ...frozen within 8 hours to lock in nutrients. up to you. [ green ant ] ho ho ho ♪ green giant. you can see you want some fiber one honey clusters? yeah. you must really care about him.
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thanks to the hubble and kepler telescopes we have had an unprecedented area of discovery. the problem is so many are far away we can barely see them. wayne freedman introduces us to a local woman that turns pixels into planets. >> they are explorers just as much of the crews of the nina and pinta and santa maria. they are looking for new world worlds. this is more subtle than that. >> it's like watching a mosquito flying across headlight of a car. >> so now to the hard work part. finding the launch of the kepler space telescope.
kepler looks at fixed point in the sky and measures the brightness of stars. when one of them dims it's often because a planet has gotten in the way, a measurement measured by quickly lines and then intense scrutiny by ni by this woman. >> most person people, the lay person looks like a little plot and a graph and all these going up and down and why should they care about little squigglys. >> lynette cook has turned those discoveries into an art form of distant planet scapes. >> if mind's eye you are there already. forget the cost or the years it would take to get there. be an armchair traveler. >> until 1995, she was just another typical artist, but that is the year they discovered
first planet orbiting the sun that wasn't our own. they wanted to advertise the discovery and hence the birth of a cottage industry. >> i can only report what i see. at the earth scape known as u.c. berkeley, he has earned a reputation as the most famous planet hunter of them all. he has discovered hundreds of them. many adorn the wall, i will net's rendition of them. >> she has the science and she has artistic touch to bring it to the public. >> i'm supposed to do something with that. >> or became they begin at blobs but not after lynette takes and applies those visuals to the data. it has an artistic side
with a also with a person that majored in science. >> there are parameters. "can't put purple polka dots on the planet for example, that would not work. >> moons are okay. she is big on moons. >> i put the moon. >> why? >> because i wanted to. >> this depicts a world in an orbit around the sun a place that alternates between very hot and very cold. >> it's making it available to the public with my art that there is more to astronomy than just a moon and a star or a planet and a star. >> there is no question about that. it's also very good living for a woman that gets away from it all by nurturing the life forms in her own backyard garden. >> what is your favorite planet?
>> i would have to say earth. >> as they say there is no place like home, especially for a woman who travels so far. >> a sky is emerging in south bay city. his talent is crystal clear but potential outcome is what separates him from the pack. here is teresa garcia. >> this south bay musical theater rehearsal of hello dolly marks one of a dozen stage productions brandon has performed in. he has characters to delve in him but there is something that sets had him apart from this 18-year-old. most in the audience can't pick him out as the blind doctor. >> it's a great feeling, you are
everybody. >> instead of using sight to guide him, he uses auditory cues and touch. >> you touch the person and make sure, make sure you are not this close to him. >> and it takes a while to memorize the lines. >> i memorize the stage and pieces are and when i come out, everything better be where they are supposed to be. >> his arts have excelled because of natural talent but also supportive up bringing. >> he never let anything get in his way if he wants to experience something, then we let him. we never held him back. >> sonya says it was a shock when the family learned that brandon had a very rare eye disease, a condition gradual leading him to total blindness. it compelled her to be a
certified teacher for the visually impaired. >> you just wonder how is he going to be able to do that. he is able to have a job. >> indeed, brandon is living a life without letting blindness holding him back. he is studying at college and pursuing the arts. >> reach for the stars is the family's motto. >> his efforts have won him 2010 yes, i can award for his achievement. they honor 27 students that excel. brandon's next one, she rehearsing the role of the bishop for upcoming play. >> when we continue, the extraordinary effort to save sea
turtles from the gulf of mexico's oil leak. bay area researchers are standing by. how do you give a 63 pound catfish a physical exam? think about that [ fema announcer ] why settle for plain bread when you can have pillsbury grands! flaky layers biscuits? the warm, light delicate layers are like nothing else. add a layer of excitement to your next meal. ♪ to bring the family together on sunday mornings than with thwarmth and aroma of freshly baked pillsbury cinnamon rolls. [ wink! ] [ wink! ] ♪
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welcome back. an effort has started along the gulf coast to rescue turtle eggs. monterey bay aquarium may be called to help. >> this is a nine-month old green sea turtle on display at the more than the ray bay aquarium. it's and endangered species in the gulf coast which is why there is an extraordinary effort to unearth turtle eggs and get them to a safe place for hatching. its delicate process and mike
murray says conditions must be controlled. >> you have to watch out for humidity so the eggs don't lose too much water too quickly because just like a bird egg they are relatively porous. >> their natural instinct would take them on a dangerous journey in the oil contaminated waters. >> once they hit the water they are known to swim for 48 hours straight at a very high speed to get away from the surf line. >> biologists say there are an estimated 70,000 turtle eggs that need to be dug up and transported to florida's contend did i space center for hatching. ideally the ones that survive will be brat back to the atlantic ocean. >> monterey bay aquarium says if needed they are prepared to care for some of the gulf turtles. >> this is the first time they have had young turtle on display and is ready for a gulf refugee.
>> we have an ability to take them in and give them care until time they can be released. >> seeing the turtles up close gives the visitors a special appreciation for efforts to hunt for the literate go eggs. >> it's definitely important, because the turtles are a big part of the ecosystem. >> while the egg rescuers, it provides more hope than the alternative h alternative. >> some turtles to fish now. seven giant catfish had their annual physical at california academy of sciences, it may not sound like a big deal but they are big fish with sharp spines. >> when you put a live rain forest inside a giant glass dome you have to be ready for a lot of challenges. this is a giant red tail catfish
one that lives in the rain forest xisht. they way up to 63 pounds and some are as long as three and a half feet. people can stroll above the tank and look down but sometimes they drop things. >> glasses, pacifiers or shoes or bottles. >> soon after the rain forest opened, academy staff realized they had a problem. >> we had a radio call this that there was a red tail catfish that had glass in the mouth. >> they discovered that glasses was not only thing the catfish swallowed. once a year they have to have their insides examine. >> we call it the round-up. >> it takes eight people, divers to have catch the fish, not easy the tank is hundred thousand gallons full of nooks. >> the bigger fish are herded to
the top where they are scooped up and then carried in stretchers to holding tanks. s is tanks is treated with a chemical sort o like november oh cane that dentists use on people. >> that will sedate them. >> a veterinarian says handling red tail catfish can be tricky. >> they can get big and mean. >> they also have sharp spines on their fins. >> so they wait until the fish are good and sleepy. >> we want to get a visual on the belly. we do a general physical around that is a visual on how their inner scale coat looks. >> then there is the delicate matter of checking the stomach. smaller fish get a tube slipped down their throat. it's lined with aluminum when it reflects. when they shine a light in they can see what is inside. this fish got a clean bill of health. >> he's fine. >> tube won't work for the
bigger fish. the vet has to put his arm in the fish -- no kidding. first he covers up for protection. >> they have these sandpaper pads in the back of the throat. you have to push against me. >> now this is the hard part. get those teeth, okay. >> on this day, none of the fish had anything in the stomach that wasn't suppose to be there. if you are thinking of putting red tail catfish in your aquarium, beware. most of them were donated by people that bought them when they were a few inches long, not anymore. >> up next, a look at a bay area giant new video game targeting kids and adults. ring ring. progresso. everyday i eat your soups , i save a lot of money. that's great. so, your delicious rich and hearty soups
have made me, rich and hearty. that's funny. well, i'm rich because... i know, i get it. i laughed. and i'm hearty because of your juicy steak, your potatoes, your pearl onions. so you're really, rich and happy. yeah see, i like rich and hearty better. [ male announcer ] pgresso. you gotta taste this soup. you can see
biggest game producer, electronic arts in redwood city. >> life like action and pulsating sound, realism defined video games. this is electronic arts summer showcase the games that will be in stores in the next few months. >> to bring the franchise to downloadable arcade games for the very first time. >> e.a. is the world's biggest producer but they can't rest because more people are getting involved which means more competition in a business that has mushroomed. >> it's exploded in the last ten years. it iced to be something that a younger boy would do in his basement on a p.c. and now it's older people. >> then there is the best selling of all time.
mostly girls and wait a minute 12-24 years old. >> you can be a celebrity, you can become a vampire. >> sure there is new edition of n.f.l. football and it brought out patrick willis. >> they have a more realistic look about them. technology just keeps getting better. >> we want to give you the tools using the stick or joystick to do moves and create moves like kobe or lebron would on the court. >> and mixed martial arts, it could more realistic. and the opportunities continue. >> we're in the entertainment business. >> these people are expected to create amazing things. they have at least 20% of the market and the last quarter they
said they made close to a billion dollars. by the way, i'm the most overdressed person here. don sanchez, "abc 7 news." >> if you want more information our program today, go to www.abc7.com and look under the news links for assignment 7. that is all for this edition of assignment 7. i'm kristen sze. thank you so much for joining us. we'll see you back here next we'll see you back here next >> when the gunfire was over, one man was dead. the latest on this police shooting in san francisco. hot shots over lake tahoe. what the navy has to say.